Regular readers will recall that I have identified a phenomenon that I call "choice devouring itself." This occurs when the left first promotes some choice as necessary in the name of individual freedom. Then, later on, this so-called "choice" is forced upon some of its alleged beneficiaries, and the left either does not care or denies the occurrence. In the area of abortion, choice devours itself when women (who were supposed to benefit from the wonderful opportunity to murder their children) are forced or highly pressured into abortion, and there is no outcry among "pro-choicers." Choice devours itself in the area of sex when slaves, victims of sex trafficking, are not rescued--treated as presumptively "choosing" their enslavement--and offered "help" only in the form of STD prevention tips. Choice devours itself when Planned Parenthood connives at statutory rape (or more-than-statutory rape). And in the area of death, choice devours itself when innocent people are killed who never even asked to die. Because the "choice" of death (when you are old or have a poor "quality of life") is just so wonderful, you see, that if you didn't make that choice...well...you should have. So let us help you.
The latest case of this kind comes from the State of Wisconsin, where murder was narrowly averted.
The County of Outagamie, Wisconsin, has agreed to voluntarily dismiss a guardianship proceeding involving 76-year-old Janice Geiger. This agreement represents a major victory for Janice, who, under the oversight of a court-appointed guardian, has suffered months of insufficient nutrition, neglect and inadequate care.
In 2013, Janice named her daughter as her agent under a durable power of attorney for healthcare. She clearly expressed her desires concerning care, and as understood by all members of the family, these desires included provision of medical care and nutrition. Last fall, Janice was hospitalized, and thereafter, was discharged to the Bridges of Appleton Nursing Home. At this point, she received most of her nutrition via her PEG tube.
Unfortunately, nursing home personnel soon began pressuring the family to remove the feeding tube, even though Janice was fully conscious and continued to enjoy many activities, including visiting with her family, playing cards, singing old songs, and spending time in prayer. When the family refused to agree to pulling out the tube, the nursing home called in county adult protective services, which petitioned the Outagamie Circuit Court to appoint a corporate guardian, Cathy’s Angels, as Janice’s temporary guardian. Family members were excluded from input in decisions, and even began to be excluded from visiting Janice. When they visited, they often found Janice stuporous or barely conscious from the overuse of morphine. (emphasis added)
When cases arise in the news in which family members disagree or there is a court case about someone's receiving tube feeding, we are often told, "Make your wishes clear. Put things in writing." Well, Janice did that. Her family members were all agreed about her wishes, and she had clearly appointed a person with Power of Attorney for healthcare. Nonetheless, the nursing home wrested healthcare decision-making from her family on the grounds that the family would not agree to having her feeding stopped. This, despite the fact that Janice was conscious!
But it gets even worse:
A hearing to determine whether the guardianship should become permanent, which would allow the guardian to order the removal of the feeding tube, was set for March 3, just days away. After receiving Cyndi Geiger’s call, Life Legal arranged for the family to be represented by local attorney Jonathan Barstow, an expert in elder law.
The hearing was rescheduled for April 7 to allow for a jury trial, but after Mr. Barstow reviewed Janice’s medical records, he realized that she might not live that long. Mr. Barstow learned that six days after the temporary guardianship was established, Janice’s food intake had been cut in half, to about fifty percent of her daily caloric needs according to the nursing home’s own dietician. On February 20, 2015, Janice’s nutrition had been cut drastically again. Her caloric intake went from the initial 1584 calories per day to 792 per day, then to 288 calories per day. She was being starved.
The nursing home was deliberately, systematically starving Janice to death. And the Wisconsin county bureaucracy with the Orwellian name of "adult protection services" lent itself to this program of murder. This would be evil enough in itself, no matter what she had previously said, but the dark irony is that it was also against her own wishes, previously expressed. This was murder by starvation for its own sake, as if it were a good in itself.
Mr. Barstow put aside everything to work on bringing pressure to bear on the “corporate guardian” and the taxpayer-funded county attorney representing her. His strategy worked. Within days of being shown the motions Mr. Barstow was prepared to file, the corporate guardian and her attorney agreed to relinquish guardianship and transfer responsibility for Janice’s care to one of her daughters. She is now receiving appropriate levels of nutrition and hydration, and her family is working to move her to a new nursing home that will respect her and her family’s wishes.
I wish all the best of luck to the family in getting Janice moved to a nursing home that doesn't want to kill her.
The worship of Death takes on a life of its own. When choice serves the purposes of Death, Death is happy to use choice. When choice no longer serves that purpose, because the individual refuses to choose Death, then Death abandons the pretense of honoring choice.
Let us pray for all the Janice Geigers in this world.